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  • kvnmcl 4:25 pm on February 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hosting, moving, new site   

    I’m moving – sites that is, do you want to help? 

    ©Several Seconds

    I’ve taken the plunge like many other people and I have signed up to a hosting service and I’m in the process of getting everything on my new site ready to go. It’s a work in progress, a bit like an oil painting. I’m playing aorund with themes and widgets and working out what suits my site and more importantly, what visitors would like. If you have any ideas about what I should include or remove then feel free to let me know. This will be my last post on this wordpress.com hosted site so I hope you can all update your bookmarks and point them towards ictsteps.com

    See you soon

  • kvnmcl 9:56 am on February 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: inudge, , sounds   

    iNudge – music creation made easy 

    Thanks to a blog post by Vanessa Cassie I have just discovered this gem – iNudge. It is a rather interesting sound creation tool with which you can create a looped pattern of melodies, beeps and percussion sounds. There are 8 sound patterns to choose from (small matrix icons on the right of the iNudge tool) and with a bit of trial and error you can create a rather pleasing or annoying musical loop. It’s very easy to use and I can imagine a class of children composing quick and interesting sound patterns to be used in Podcasts or short class films.

  • kvnmcl 5:36 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , inspiration, ,   

    Myst returns 

    Myst V - End of Ages

    Over the next 2-3 weeks we will be strolling through ‘Stories set in Imaginary worlds‘, a unit of work from the Literacy  Primary Framework. It suggests a range of activities including using digital media as well as ‘traditional’ books. Teachers are left with a choice – use the activities suggested, adapt the acitivities suggested or take the objectives and create your own activities. I’m going for the latter. (More …)

    • Mark Warner 6:49 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good luck with the unit Kevin… I’m looking forward to hearing about the results as our school prepares to use Myst to inspire learning throughout Term 5!

      • kvnmclaughlin 6:56 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the comment Mark. I’ll update our adventures on my blog and I’ll also get my class to use the class blog too. I’ll look forward to finding out how your school uses Myst too.

    • Tim Rylands 6:53 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good luck with your unit Kevin… I look forward to reading about your travels. Keep in touch. HAVE FUN…AND… TAKE YOUR TIME 🙂

      • kvnmclaughlin 6:58 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I will definitely take my time 🙂 I discovered that with my last excursion using the game – there’s no need to get to the end just because ‘school time’ dictates. If we haven’t finished the game by the unit end then there’s always after half term and beyond. Let the FUN commence

  • kvnmcl 8:21 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: design, , Fronter, home page, ,   

    The front door to our virtual home 

    Home page #3

    Over the past few weeks I have been busy setting up my school’s Virtual Learning Environment. It’s been a stressful journey but I now feel quite confident in deploying it throughout the school. Above is an example of the current Home page that my class are greeted with when then sign in. This is my third version and it still requires tweaking but I and the children like this. We think it’s simple, uncluttered and provides a platform to get to other learning pages. I’m looking to incorporate an RSS feed as a scrolling banner just under the page title in due course and I use the Voki as an easy way to include new information about the page.

    What do you think?

    Have you got a home page design you would like to share?

    Can we make any improvements?

  • kvnmcl 12:14 pm on January 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Voki – an idea I picked up from #TMBETT2010 

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Many thanks go to @ianaddison and @lisibo for inspiring me

  • kvnmcl 12:00 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #TMBETT2010, #TMtakeover, BETT2010,   

    What did I get from BETT2010? 


    I went with an open mind to the BETT show yesterday. I knew that it would be big, bold and brash but I had not realised how big, bold and brash it would be until I walked in through the front door into the main hall. I can safely say it was very noisy and very busy. The whole place is pictured very well by Roger Neilson’s post ‘Swimming with sharks or a village market‘. There are many other blog’s posting about BETT (Jan Webb’s ‘A Big BETT2010 day out‘ for example) that brilliantly describe the day’s events. I want to concentrate on what I got from it.

    • BETT is a showcase filled to bursting – it needs to diet not gorge out next year
    • The Teachmeet Takeover was brilliant – a successful mix of inspirational teachers demonstrating the effective use of free tools in the classroom
    • Teachmeet BETT2010 was outstanding
    • Meeting teachers from my Twitter PLN was the single most important part of my day
    • I had great conversations, exchanged many ideas, learned about new tools and left refreshed and energised!

    You walk around BETT, like many others, with a face of non-compliance. You window shop and occasionally chat to the sellers about products that have no place in the classroom; 3D tech wins the most pointless tool award.

    What made BETT worthwhile for me? The sharing of ideas with genuinely inspirational teachers and educators.

    Tweeting at TeachMeet (Photo by Mr Ush blur added by myself)

    • Roger Neilson 12:16 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      One of my biggest regrets was the fact that I met so few of my PLN. That’s partly down to the sheer mass of people that makes everyone quite anonymous, the inability to easily ‘badge’ yourself, the sheer frantic pace of it all. The evening events were a great idea, sadly I only made the Ted one and was so relieved just to be sitting down I stayed pretty stationary – though did meet one or two, including the legendary Dawnhallybone! If I make next year (not a given) I think we twitterers should get a bit more organised so we can actually stand out from the crowd.
      Massive Kudus to all those (they know who they are) who organized the evenings, and those who presented on stand takeovers (too many names to mention but you know who you are) – maybe its just my age but I found the numbering of stands less than logical this year and missed almost everything be being in the wrong place at the right time, or the right place at the wrong time

    • Phil Bagge @baggiepr 12:40 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more with all that you have written.
      My first Teachmeet, but I am sure not my last.
      Great to meet some of Twitter PLN
      Picked up some great ideas

    • Dan Stucke 5:02 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Gee thanks for picking that picture!!!!

      • kvnmclaughlin 6:16 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve tinkered with the photo slightly 😉

    • Oliver Quinlan 5:15 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My first TeachMeet too, and was also great to meet some people but I agree with Roger, we need some way of identifying people from our PLNs. Could we take inspiration from @digitalmaverick’s attire and choose avatars to dress like?

      • kvnmclaughlin 6:16 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Imagine that!

    • jan webb 8:32 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great comments! I completely agree. I always know if I’ve gone on a worthwhile cpd opportunity because I can take something back to try out in school – it’s our colleagues who give their time and energy that do that for us. And I completely agree with the previous comments about us needing to make it easier to touch base with fellow PLN members

  • kvnmcl 7:55 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, apps, iMac, Mac,   

    My really most used Mac apps 

    After reading through Doug Belshaw’s post about his Most used apps I decided to create my own, albeit smaller collection.

    Unfortunately, I can’t get the Mbedr of Flickr notes to work with wordpress.com so please click the image above to view the original image on Flickr with notes.

    Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a hosted site!

    • Doug Belshaw 9:13 am on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for doing this Kevin – it’s always interesting and useful to see what others use!

      I’m intigued, though, as to what the app is that you attempted to cover up using a white box… 😉

      • kvnmclaughlin 5:12 pm on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        😀 Trust you to see that. Well, it’s nothing I’m ashamed to hide. It was Dropbox, again. I use a lot more apps on my iMac than the ones I have mentioned so I used Pixelmator and Skitch to copy and paste the most used apps into one page. Unfortunately I included Dropbox twice, hence the ‘slightly paler shade of white’ square covering the duplicated app.
        Good call.

  • kvnmcl 10:01 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2010, , , , resolutions,   

    What’s coming up. Floaters. 

    Crystal ball by David Reece

    Okay now, a floater to some might raise a few brows and cause a few to smirk. But a floater to me is an idea, and one that doesn’t go away easily. A floater comes to mind when you are usually not following the ‘rule books’, when you decide to go with the flow in the classroom and see what the outcome will be rather than try to get to the outcome you have written down. A floater can be brilliant but also annoyingly out of reach. But it’s always there and always wants to be given a chance. Here are my floaters for the year ahead.

    1. Allow my class to talk more
    2. Make the school VLE a LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!
    3. Create an ‘old school’ interactive learning display
    4. Be more creative in my approach to other parts of the curriculum e.g. Use Green screen in RE lessons to retell stories from bible
    5. Bring my guitar into school everyday for no other reason than to sing with the class
    6. Be positive and stop moaning (but some things I have to moan about and I will continue to do so)
    7. Ask my class for more feedback
    8. Talk to my class more rather than getting through the mountain of objectives
    9. Continue my personal pursuit to rid the world of pointless homeworks
    10. If Oftsted do actually make an appearance this year, welcome them with open arms and have fun

    Let 2010 commence.

    • Mark Cunningham 10:39 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great “floaters”. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 especially

    • Stuart Ridout 12:22 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      I must admit that I did have a minor smirk at the floaters but your list of floaters is great.

      I love the use of student voice in point 7, perhaps it could link to #2 and students could vote or rate lessons using the VLE. #6 benefits everyone (not specifically in your case but in general) and I think is something we could all try to take on board.

      Something that really excites me is #4. I love using green screen but find it tough to make it work in the classroom with so many people. We have a few staff who use green screen and one teacher is making a film using both live action and green screen (you can see the trailer at http://blip.tv/file/2960987 )

      Good luck with it! I look forward to seeing your outcomes online!

    • Pam Thompson 1:41 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What a great list – a nice balance. Love the idea of taking your guitar in every day – an opportunity to chill & give the outcomes a rest 🙂

  • kvnmcl 2:26 pm on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Merry Christmas 

    See you all in 2010 🙂

  • kvnmcl 6:08 pm on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #movemeon, ebook, tips   

    Something for Christmas #movemeon e-book 

    Back on the 19th November Doug Belshaw (who has many brilliant ideas) had a particularly brilliant idea –

    I’d like to propose a new hashtag to help new and existing teachers share and pick up tips.

    Using the #movemeon hashtag so that the posts could be collected on Twitter, the idea took off and hundreds of posts were made and gathered together. Doug and Stuart Ridout put the tweets together into an e-book which is available for download (free) from here. But if, like me, you are keen to have in your possession a book of suggestions to help you in teaching, a book that is filled with inspiration and creativity, a book of helpful hints and practical guides then you would prefer a physical copy to put in the staff room and encourage even more teachers to join in the discussion.

    You can buy it from here

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